This morning a dear friend stepped into the presence of our Savior and Lord. Many times today tears have coursed down my cheeks and I wonder why I am so moved each time I remember.
I grieve because I know the pain her family feels. The sadness of personal loss even though we know she is whole and healed and happy. The sorrow of knowing that we will not see her smiling, cheerful face tomorrow. Or see a new piece of art. Or hear her willing “I can do that” when a need arises in the church family.
I cry because I am so blessed to have known her. I thank God for the testimony she has been to me through the years. JoAnn modeled servanthood. A gifted artist who was happy to serve in the church kitchen washing dishes. I remember the joy she had serving at our Women’s Retreats. I remember her willingness to lead our Ladies’ Missionary meetings even though she felt unqualified. I remember her generous heart. I remember her passion for her family and for her friends to know her Savior. I remember her love of the old hymns and her joy each time I played Great Is Thy Faithfulness or The Solid Rock.
One of the strangest things about losing a loved one in death is to walk outside and see the sun shining. To see the flowers blooming. To hear the birds singing. Don’t they understand that the world should be grieving? In time, we learn that it is the faithfulness of God that keeps the sun shining, the flowers blooming, and the birds singing. He has given us a future and a hope. And despite the sorrow in our hearts, He waits for us to trust Him with each step we take out of grief and closer to the day of rejoicing when we all see Jesus.
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood, support me in the whelming flood. When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.